The Truth About One-Eyed Uncle George Part 6
The Truth About One-Eyed Uncle George
Serial Story #6
Lila didn’t see the dragons at first. Her mind was spinning with memories, thinking of her quiet, sad mother who never would talk about the past.
Now Lila realized: the poster for “The Amazing Nevil” that her mother framed and put in their hallway, picturing a debonair man in a top hat and a flowing cape… that was her grandfather! A magician! And sadly, Lila had never even met him.
Lila remembered herself, nine years old, walking hand-in-hand with her mother past the spooky old mansion, and asking, “Does anybody live there?”
And her mother clamping her hand tight, almost starting to run, as she answered, “No, Sweetie. This is a bad, bad, very bad place to be. Promise me you will never walk down this street again.”
And Lila never did. Because she had been a very good girl. Of course she knew it was the same “bad, bad, very bad” mansion when she and Uncle George peeked over its back garden wall today. She had felt a twinge of remorse when she agreed to go with Uncle George to look at the property. But she asked herself, would it really upset her mother anymore? Weren’t those sad events well in the past? And Lila wasn’t a silly little girl now. It was still daylight, sort of. And she did carry pepper spray.
Besides, Lila thought, Uncle George had just connected her to a whole generation of her family history. What a gift! And if George was now her only living relative, it was the least she could do to listen to his stories – even if they were slightly embellished.
If George had been a magician himself, Lila reasoned, then he could have thrown his voice to make the rabbit appear to talk. And the bees… maybe they lived in the walls of the old house – Lila had read of that happening – and Uncle George was just being dramatic for her benefit when he addressed them and they seemed to lead the way to the mansion. The two paths… just a coincidence?
Silently George put his hand gently on her arm. Lila looked up, followed his glance and drew in a sharp breath. Two dragons stood quietly at the edge of the garden, their iridescent scales flashing as their long reptilian tails coiled and rippled. With a low rumble of breath they began a slow approach, one stumpy leg after the other shaking the ground and flattening daisies, morning glories and every other growing thing in their path. With part of her mind, Lila realized they were easily ten feet tall. With another part of her mind, she remembered her pepper spray. And the rest of her mind turned to melted Jello in terror.
Lila and George stood rooted to the ground, watching in fascination as the dragon’s necks arched and dipped, the setting sun turning each scale into a miniature golden shield, as the huge beasts came closer and closer. Lila now could see their beady red eyes and feel their hot breath, which smelled much like rotten vegetables and fish innards. She closed her eyes and squirted the pepper spray.
“Yummm! Thank you.”
The voices were deep, liquid and surprisingly pleasant.
Apparently they found the pepper spray pleasant, too.
Now it was the dragons’ turn to be surprised. “George! It’s you!” said one.
“I always said you’d come back!” shouted the other, vibrating the earth beneath them. “Excuse me, Miss, do you have any more…?” and he waved a stubby digit, indicating her pepper spray. “That really is delicious.”